It was such a pleasure to interview Liz and hear about her births and her wonderful insights as well.
Sheridan: I am so excited to welcome Liz to our podcast today. And Liz, will you go ahead and introduce.
Liz: Yes. Thank you so much, Sheridan. I’m excited to be here. I live in north Ogden with my husband and three children, and I have had three beautiful unmedicated births, one in a birth center, and two others at home through the process of becoming a mother,
I’ve become very passionate about pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding and all things related to being a mother.
And one birth in particular, I’m excited to share a little bit more about it. It was on a beautiful Sunday morning during primary hour. And we really felt angels fill the walls of our home.
And that was a really special experience. So I am a big advocate for birth education and informed consent for women in whatever way that looks like for them. So excited to be here. Great.
Sheridan: Thank you. And I’m excited to hear about that birth also. That sounds awesome. okay. I’m just curious how you may be like, have you read The Gift of Giving Life or do you just know about the podcast? I’m curious about that.
“I fell in love with the book”
Liz: Yes. I read The Gift of Giving Life with my first pregnancy and just fell in love with the book. I reread most of it during my second and third pregnancies. I guess I picked and chose some stories that really stood out to me or. Some different themes that really resonated with me, but I’ve read it a couple times, I guess you could say.
And I love the content there and the spirituality and the sacredness of birth, is a lot of what I’m really drawn to in my passion. And so just the whole book really resonates with me. Oh,
Sheridan: great. Thank you. Okay. Would you share a time that you have experienced the divine nature of pregnancy, birth or mothering?
Such an incredible experience with second birth
Liz: Yes. Absolutely. There’s so many examples that I can think of, but I think the first that comes to mind is in my second birth. I gave birth to my second child, a boy on a beautiful Sunday morning in my home in Salt Lake City. And it was just the most incredible experience.
It was night and day different from my first birth experience, it was a very quick short two hour act of labor. So it was very fast. And in that time, because of the intensity of a short labor, I had these very spiritual experiences where I truly felt a thinning of the veil and could feel the presence of ancestors, particularly maternal ancestors in our home.
And I specifically felt the presence of my grandmother and. Just felt this deep connection to this lineage of powerful, strong women. And it was just an incredible experience. I don’t think a Sunday morning could ever top that experience just giving birth in our home. And, I felt the literal presence of angels singing as as he was born.
And the, I, as I go back to tell you a little bit about, that experience where I felt the bell thin. I felt this connection to my Heavenly Parents in a way that I never had before. And I truly could feel that like co-create or partnership with God that I believed and I had the testimony of, but I really felt it in that moment.
And that was just, I think, an experience that really defined, so much of who I am today. Yeah, that’s the first thing that comes to mind.
The Thinness of the Veil During Birth
Sheridan: I really love that. And I think you’re so right. That the veil gets so thin during this time of a baby coming earth side. and we can sometimes have these really, impressive.
I don’t know if we’re impressive is the right word, impactful spiritual experiences. So that’s really cool that you had that experience.
Liz: Yes. Yes. Thank you. I think the concept of the veil at birth was introduced me through the book, The Gift of Giving Life, because it’s talked about in there, and I would even go so far to talk about
the symbolism, of a woman as the, veil, not just that the veil is thin, but a woman as the veil As a child passes through her, into the mortal world. And is coming, from the spirit world into the mortal world to have this earthly experience. I think that imagery especially was really powerful for me in giving birth, just recognizing like the spiritual birth, in addition to the mortal.
and the role that I played as a woman and kind of the symbolism of the woman as the veil. and that really helped to carrying me through some challenging moments in birth.
Sheridan: Yeah. Yes. and it is mentioned in the book. I think Heather maybe wrote an essay about it. I don’t remember exactly, but that is really intriguing to think of us as the veil and the power that we have as women to be a portal. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but a doorway, I guess like that veil, like a portal from one side to the other. So that’s yeah. Great. Really great.
Do you have any other experiences that you want to share?
Mental Preparation Needed for being Patient
Liz: Sure. I would love, I’d be happy to talk a little bit more about my other birth experiences too, but I think some other experiences that weren’t necessarily in birth itself, but of leading up to birth and the events around it.
My third baby. it’s interesting, cuz there were a lot of parallels to my second birth. It was also a two hour active labor, very fast, but it felt very different emotionally. And I think the most interesting thing about my experience with her was my, so my first baby, for some context, my first baby came exactly at 40.
My second came just a, just after 39 weeks. And I, I was really bought into the concept that babies come on, their own timing. there is no such thing as really a due date, right? It’s an estimated date and babies can come anytime. anytime between 39 and 42 weeks is all natural, normal, common.
And with my third baby, I think because my other two had been born at 40 weeks and 39. I hadn’t done as much mental preparation to go until 42 weeks. And I didn’t even go that long, but I was just after 40 weeks. So once 40 weeks came and went, I was really struggling emotionally. And I found that the, that became a huge test of my faith and my willingness to put my trust in God that everything was okay and that, baby would come on her own timing and.
Just was a really faith building experience for me. And so she came four days after, so 40 weeks and four days. and there were very few signs of labor. I had prayed multiple times just asking, for guidance to make sure she was okay and make sure, we were doing another home birth. So I wanted to know if I did need to go to the hospital or check on anything and just felt really strongly,
everything was fine. I just had to wait. And again, that was just a really faith building experience to kind. Until she came and everything, everything went really smoothly with the birth, but that, that was a really faith building testimony building experience. yeah, I can share, I have a few other examples I could share Sheridan.
There’s a few other things, related to that birth that, were really spiritual for me. But I think that was, again, just one experience that was really testimony building for me.
Sheridan: yeah. Let me talk a little bit about that because I feel that for many of us, like patience, especially at the end of a pregnancy, Really is a spiritual gift that we long for. it’s it’s not easily attained when you’re so pregnant and so ready to be done and you think I should be done, right? It’s of course it’s, the baby should be here. And so trusting in your body, trusting in your baby, trusting in God, really, takes a lot of, effort and prayer and faith. I think. So I’ve been there myself. My first was born at 34 weeks. He was a preemie. And then my second one was born at 42 weeks and I was wow. Yeah, blew my mind.
Liz: that is so hard to wait until 42 weeks. I have a lot of respect for women that can be patient for that long.
patience in general. Through pregnancy is like you said, it is very challenging and it’s something that we all long for, but it’s hard to stay in that mental space. yeah. Kudos to you.
Allowing Baby Time to Say Goodbye to Connections in Pre-Existence
Liz: And actually, Sheridan I just thought of one more thing. I totally did not do that experience justice because I forgot the most spiritual part of it, which is that I not only had these promptings, that everything was fine, that baby was good, but I received this really strong impression.
One day when I was laying in bed. I was just sitting there, like ready to be done. And I received this very strong impression that clearly did not come from my own mind that she was still finishing her “see you laters” in heaven. Like she was still saying goodbye to the people that she would no longer be with there.
And it was like, she was excited to come join our family on earth, but she also knew how hard it was gonna be here. And she was lingering a little longer there. Like she actually was physically ready. But she was spiritually wrapping things up there to prepare for her mortal journey. And it was just, that was the peace and patience that I needed.
Like putting things in perspective, after I received that impression, I kept thinking about God’s timing and how it’s so much different than our timing here on earth. And I realized, Waiting a week, two weeks, however many weeks or days for me was merely seconds or minutes, in God’s time, in, in heaven. And I kept thinking, man, I can’t blame her. Like she’s probably just giving an extra long hug to our Savior, Or like to my grandmother or to all these people that she has built these deep relationships with. Anyway, it was just this really peaceful, spiritual impression that helped me just carry on.
Liz: I think those last three, four days, especially when I was really starting to struggle. yeah, so I, wanted to share that, cuz I think, God sends those little kind of God winks or blessings to help us, when we’re really struggling or when we need more patience
Sheridan: and that is a beautiful way to think about it.
That, these babies that are coming, they wanna say their goodbyes. And even if they are excited to come to us, which I’m sure they are, they still, yeah. They’re like having a closure of their own. and to honor that, so that’s great.
So the next question I’d like to ask is if you could give advice to a young woman just starting out her mothering journey, what would it be?
Live in the Moment
Liz: I think my best advice would be to live in the moment. And stay close to God. I think it truly is, part of our divine nature as women to raise children and to be co-creators with God. And that’s not just the creation and the birth and the pregnancy, it’s, raising children to live life, to work through this mortal journey and to live their own experiences.
And yeah, I think the biggest thing is just being present and staying close to God, cuz I think it’s easy to get caught up in. The little details are the things that aren’t important, but
at the end of the day, what matters is relationships and your relationship with your children, your relationship with God and your ability to connect the two. I’m gonna keep it really simple, Sheridan, and I think, that’s my best advice is just, staying present, and staying close to God.
Sheridan: I love it. that’s
great advice that not only serves new moms, but serves everyone and, old, I don’t wanna say old moms, but moms that have older children
Liz: yeah. Thank you. And I guess I could add one more quick thing, I guess is as they think about birth, right? I mentioned early on that I’m a big advocate for women, educating themselves and making informed decisions.
and I would say, I feel the same about all things related to parenting, right? There’s a lot of decisions that we have to make as mothers along the journey where, I think an important part of staying close to God is educating ourselves, being prepared right. In all things. And so I think obviously that applies for birth, but it implies just as, not if not.
Even more so for parenting. So I would just, I guess I would throw that in there, make informed decisions and educate yourself to help you draw closer to God as he guides you.
Sheridan: Good. Thank you. Is there anything else that you want to share before we close out our call?
Birth is a beautiful start to our parenting journey
Liz: I think the last thing I wanna share is. birth is a beautiful start to our journey in parenting. And I know for me, birth was such an empowering experience. I would say it’s the only time in my life where I truly feel omnipotent. And that’s always been one of my favorite words to describe God.
but I truly felt like a goddess in, my birth experiences. And I hope that everyone can feel that same power. In their own birth experiences. I know, everyone has different experiences of their own, birth was a really sacred experience for me. And it just gave me this really special glimpse into godhood and what it means to truly become like God.
Birth as a Testimony of God the Creator
Liz: And again, to really experience his power in a really unique way. birth to me is such a Testament. God’s role in our lives and how he’s involved in all the details. I really love this quote from, Ina May Gaskin and I’m sure, a lot of your listeners have read her books or listened to her speak.
she’s such an incredible midwife, but she basically says “the creator is not a careless mechanic”. And I, I just loved that when I first read it, it just, it all clicked for me. And it was such a testimony to me. Birth is such a testimony to me. that God is real the way he’s created our bodies and the process so perfectly.
And so intricately is just so incredibly and perfectly designed. So I, I just feel so honored that I’ve been able to experience birth for myself three times. I love birth. I can’t imagine a moment when, I’m not looking forward to a birth we’re not pregnant right now, but we do want more babies in the future.
I just, I hope that it can be such an empowering experience for others as it has been for me. I think that’s what I’ll leave you with.
Sheridan: Great. Thank you so much. If you’re willing to share, how can our listeners connect with you if they want to learn more about you?
Liz: Yeah, absolutely. I’m not an influencer or anything, but any means on social media, but,they can follow me on Instagram @lizmjwoodfield
I do post about my family and my kids and birth and all kinds of stuff. it’s just a personal account.
Sheridan: Great. Yeah. And I looked at your account and it’s cute your kids and all the things you post, so yeah, just fun and personal.
Yep. that’s great. thank you so much for talking with me today and being willing to be on the podcast and sharing these experiences and your thoughts with us. I really appreciate it.
Liz: Yes. Thank you so much for the opportunity.